What Is ASO?

What is ASO? App store optimization

You may have heard the term “ASO” bandied about, but what does it really mean? The acronym stands for three words: App Store Optimization. It refers to a set of techniques used to enhance a mobile app’s ranking in app store searches so it is more likely to be downloaded. ASO is analogous to SEO, or search engine optimization, but is tailored specifically to app stores, namely iTunes for iOS devices and Google Play for Android. ASO is just one factor that ensures an app’s success, alongside other important aspects like quality of the product and fulfillment of an untapped market. However, even an intrinsically great app must do well in search rankings to succeed, so we’ll give you an overview of the important factors in ASO.


As in SEO, keyword optimization in ASO is, well, key. According to the research firm Forrester, keyword searches drive the majority of customers to apps. That means you need to figure out what your potential customers are looking for and which specific words they’re using. There are tools to help you do this, such as Google Keyword Planner. Once you’ve got the hang of it, more specialized app tools like Sensor Tower can also help you track your progress and competitors.


Now that we’re on the subject of keywords, let’s examine one of the most important places for keywords, and one that’s often neglected: the title. Many people opt for witty titles, but MobileDevHQ showed that apps with a keyword in the title ranked 10.3 percent higher than those without. So ditch the puns and make sure the keyword with the heaviest traffic is placed in your title. Although it may seem counterintuitive, titles can be changed regularly, and should be–at first. However, once you start to build steam, word of mouth can play an important role in app discovery. The moral? Figure out what works, and stick with it.


How do you settle on an app when you’re searching? Chances are, you check out the description and glance at the screen shots to get a preview before you decide if it’s what you really want. It’s understandable, then, that asset optimization (optimizing these details) can be hugely important in convincing potential customers to use your app. In addition, making the icon aesthetically pleasing can make or break your app. It’s the first thing people notice, so it should instantly convey what the app is all about.

Remember, ASO is a gradual process. It may take some time to see the results, but stay on top of these ASO best practices and soon enough, it will pay off.

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Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency and lead generation agency. Ironpaper integrates design, technology and marketing for the web to drive meaningful results for clients. We are based in New York City and Charlotte, NC.